Your single self may be a product of nurture and nature, but your relationships are a product of compatibility and chemistry, or so says Chemistry.com, Match.com's sister online dating site. Chemistry.com differs from its sibling site since it targets singles who are serious about finding long and meaningful relationships.
Chemistry.com uses extensive personality profiling to access the personality type of its users and hand-select compatible matches. The fancy-schmancy personality profiling is based upon the work of biological anthropologist and expert on human attraction, Dr. Helen Fisher.
The Chemistry profile consists of 100-plus statements such as "People should behave according to established standards of proper conduct," and "I feel emotions more deeply than most people." Users choose from four responses on a scale of strongly disagree to strongly agree.
While inarguably tedious, parts of the personality quiz are fun when compared to the bland questionnaires on other dating sites. Games, pictures, "name this novel" and "interpret this voicemail" offer an interactive break from the seemingly endless supply of questions that oft feel trivial. A favorite: Of four people pictured, which would you buy a used car from? I'd love to know the science behind this one...
After the extensive profiling process has been completed, users are categorized by major and a minor personality type, and matched accordingly. For instance, I'm a negotiator/explorer who is especially well-suited for director/negotiators. Who knew?
If it sounds complicated, fear not: every match comes with a page explaining why you and said-match are compatible. If you "buy" it, you can buy it: A basic one-month plan costs $49.95/month, or as little at $26.65/month for the six-month plan. Non-paying users can browse and rate matches but can’t initiate contact. Coughing up the cash allows users to contact matches and refresh up to five, daily, after rating each match on a slider scale that ranges from "fizzling" to "sizzling". Thereafter, matching criteria is adjusted to accommodate user preferences.
Contacting matches is done through a four-step guided communication process. Even if you and your match are comfortable, there is no step-skipping on this site. Chemistry.com also offers the First-Meeting tool, which essentially helps you plan your first date. After the date, you can submit your feedback and Chemistry.com will tell your match whether you'd like to meet again. While these features may seem clinical, they're a blessing in disguise for first-time online daters.
The Chemistry.com experience feels very personal- much more so than browsing and striking up a conversation with any old profile you find yourself. From matching to meeting, hand-holding is provided every step of the way, so control-freaks would do better to online date elsewhere.